Wunderkind designer Alexander Wang may have enjoyed a skyrocketing path to success over the past few years, but opening his own store was a slower process -- one that took about a year and a half to complete.
The result is a massive, gallery-like space on Grand Street that's a luxurious study in black and white: marble floors and white-washed walls are contrasted with black leather furniture and, it's true, a custom-made giant hammock made entirely of black fox fur.
"When it came to designing [the store," said Wang, "we kind of had all the ideas ready that we wanted to do, so it was more a matter of tailoring it to the specific location."
The location, as it happens, is the former location of another cult downtown designer -- Yohji Yamamoto. The importance of taking over the space was not lost on the 26-year-old Wang. "It was very daunting, of course, he's been here for over 20 years and has such a history already, so we really wanted to work with the natural architecture -- the windows, of course, and the columns -- but we brought our own characteristic to it in putting up the walls and building certain build-outs and things like that."
Wang has clearly worked hard, and thought quite a bit about how an "Alexander Wang store" should appear. As he told us, "I always think about how I separate my personal aesthetic from what I have to say in the line -- sometimes there's synergy, sometimes there's a difference. You want to create an environment ... where it doesn't overcome the message of the product, but it does work together with it."